Video Credit: UFC

New FSM Essential Recap: UFC 263 – Adesanya vs Vettori


UFC 263 is in the books and it gave us some exciting performances along with new options going forward.


UFC 263
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

UFC 263 was headlined by two title fights in the middleweight and flyweight divisions. Both matchups were rematches in which the incoming champions had previously won. Would the result be the same, or would affairs change, and the challengers would even the score?

In the main event, Israel Adesanya ( 21-1 ) showed why he is the king at 185lbs with a unanimous decision victory over his opponent Marvin Vettori ( 17-5 ). Izzy showed off his excellent footwork through five rounds, head movement paired with stinging leg kicks and combinations that kept his foe off balance and at bay. While Vettori was the aggressor in coming forward, looking to apply pressure, he couldn’t find his way in enough to stifle the champion to throw him off his game. Adesanya was able to show off some improved grappling abilities as he stuffed most take-down attempts, and the ones he didn’t, he quickly was back to his feet.

The champion was never in any real danger as he was able to show that while his attempt to move up to Light Heavyweight and becoming a double champ came up short, he is still the cream of the crop in the middleweight class. He was cool and calm through the fight, never seeming bothered by anything his opponent threw at him and always one if not two steps ahead. Izzy is growing as a fighter which is scary considering he’s the champion and still getting better.

After the bout, Izzy called for a rematch against Robert Whittaker, who he took the belt away from at UFC 243. But that was in Australia, and the champion wants the fight in Auckland, New Zealand on his home turf this time around. It should be exciting when these two square off again.


In the co-main event, history was made as the first Mexican born fighter became a UFC champion.


Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Fighters such as Cain Velasquez, Tony Ferguson, Anthony Pettis, and Henry Cejudo, who are of Mexican descent, have been champions. Still, Brandon Moreno ( 19-5 11 SUBs ) became the first Mexican-born fighter to wear UFC gold after his third-round submission over Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2 ).

The anticipated rematch became a one-sided affair as Moreno was in control most of the fight with his aggressive grappling and control. Nearly gaining a submission on a couple of occasions earlier in the bout. But in the third, he took the back of the former champion and lock in a rear-naked choke for the win and even their series at one win apiece.

Moreno’s story is one of inspiration as in 2018, and he was cut from the UFC. Only to be brought back the following year and has since made the most of his return. Going 4-0-2 and is now a UFC champion. These two are clearly the best fighters at 125lbs, but there are some interesting matchups with possible contenders from 135lbs moving down in the future. We’ll see how things play out, but for now, all hail the new king.


Also on the UFC 263 card were some other exciting bouts:


UFC 263
Photo Credit: MMA Junkie

Leon Edwards ( 19-3 ) defeated a returning Nate Diaz ( 20-13 ) via decision in a special five-round bout. Edwards controlled most of the fight with leg kicks and his stand-up game from the outside. Diaz would offer some bright moments here and there, but it was clear Edwards was in cruise control. But in the last minute of the last round, Diaz landed a one-two combination that stubbled Edwards and had him on skates trying to hold out for the win. Diaz would move in trying to finish, but Edwards was composed enough to either stay on the move or catch a quick tie to buy time. Clearly hurt, and moments from being finished, the bell rang, and the Stockton Bad Boy had run out of time for an epic comeback.

Now on a 9 fight win streak after losing to current champion Kamaru Usman, Edwards feels he has done enough to earn a title shot. Will he be next in line? Time will tell what Dana White and the UFC decided to do, but clearly, Edwards deserves a shot gold. For Diaz, he’s an absolute warrior and superstar, but this is two losses in a row. Does he stay at welterweight and possibly rematch Jorge Masvidal? Move back down to Lightweight, and either faces the loser of Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor? Or fight Tony Ferguson? Diaz has plenty of options for what’s next, but he does need to find himself back in the winner’s circle.

We also saw Paul Craig (15-4 13 SUBs) earn another win via technical submission as he broke the arm of Jamahal Hill ( 8-1-1 ). This was a classic grappler vs. striker match-up, and Craig took the fight to the mat early. While in transition, he secured the left arm of Hill, who tried to defend it every which way he could think of. At one point, both men were exchanging strikes on the mat, but Hill couldn’t get his arm free in time, and it eventually ended up snapping. To Hills credit, he didn’t tap right away and was actually still trying to throw punches with his right arm. But the veteran Craig knew what damaged he caused and started to land shots of his own until Hill collapsed still in the triangle, and the referee stepped in to call the bout.

The Scotland native is now 4-0-1 in his last five outings to the octagon, so a step up in competition and closer to a possible title opportunity is in order if Craig keeps this up. For Hill, a native of Chicago, it’s his first professional loss, so he still has room to grow and get better. His biggest challenge is rehab and coming back stronger and better whenever that may be.


Another good fight card is in the books as the UFC continues to entertain us as we are now starting to have fans back in attendance. Whether we are watching champions, former champions, title contenders, or up and comers, the UFC will continue to give us entertaining fight cards to enjoy.



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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media


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